January 17th, 2022Our great friend Don Breen
In our June 7, 2021 edition we farewelled our great friend and long time supporter of The Local Don Breen. Don was born on September 16, 1940 and passed away on June 1, 2021. We miss you Don.
DAYLESFORD and the wider region has lost one of its real characters and enquiring minds with the passing of Don Breen last Tuesday, June 1.
The Local interviewed Don and his wife Sandy for their golden wedding anniversary on October 24, 2018. Don chatted with Kyle and I talked with Sandy. We had met them in 2009, a few years after our move to Glenlyon.
The couple were regulars at the Farmers Arms Hotel in Daylesford where Sandy would make her way around the bar, chatting to one and all, while Don, in his fisherman’s cap would head straight for the quiet back wall with his beer in hand.
Different personalities but it was easy to spot the deep love and respect between them. Don called Sandy “Pearl” and he was always “Donny”.
In our interview Don remembered meeting Sandy in Prahran in a pub with “a whole team of young women – it was a pub where the local tramways people meet, you know, drivers and conductors, so the place got a bit boisterous; it was good fun”.
Don said there were myriad attractions at first sight including Sandy’s bright mind and artistic ability which proved a good attribute in later years when she helped him out with his various business ventures doing marketing and design.
However, at the start of the romance, Don, an electrical engineer with his own amazing mind, found himself headhunted by Hewlett-Packard and left for America for a six-month training program. But on his return, he proposed and the couple were married in the registry office, with Don making it just in time.
“A trade show in Canberra ran through the day before, so I had to pack up the station wagon and drive through the night to get back to Melbourne, arriving only a matter of half an hour before the ceremony, so all hell broke loose. It was a bit of a rush, not the ideal way to gear up for a wedding, but it seems to have worked.
“I guess 50 years sounds like a long time, but in reality the way it’s all unfolded it hasn’t appeared like 50 years. We have had very few, if any downsides during that period, however one of the regrets I have during our early stages of marriage was the fact I had to disappear overseas for work for sometimes large chunks of time leaving Sandy at home with our three young children. But at least I was around for all the births. But she bore the brunt of having to keep the business going and raising a young family. I hugely respect her tolerance in respect to putting up with that sort of lifestyle.”